- For businesses, SEO is a crucial area to practice in order to increase visibility. However, it can be detrimental to your online visibility if you do not follow the correct guidelines.
- Optimizing your website for the wrong keywords, putting too many keywords into the meta keywords tag, or creating lots of similar portal pages are all examples.
- Below are the top SEO mistakes that you should avoid to be future-ready.
Marketers can use SEO to improve the rankings of their websites in Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs), and reach the top results.
There are certain SEO mistakes that you should avoid when doing SEO. Marketers who make any of these errors could end up with a lower search ranking or worsening their reputation.
Here are seven common mistakes you should avoid.
SEO Mistake #1 – Optimizing your website for the wrong keywords
First, you must choose the correct keywords to optimize your website for search engine optimization. You will waste all your efforts and time trying to rank your site high in search engines if you choose the wrong keywords. How useful will top rankings be if keywords aren’t searched for or keywords that don’t bring targeted traffic to your website?
There are warning signs that you might be optimizing for the wrong keywords. We found the following amongst them:
- Organic visibility is very low or absent
- High impressions and low click-through rates
- You may experience a high bounce rate or a slow page load time
Neil Patel, an SEO expert and co-founder at Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, said:
You won’t rank high in search engine results pages if you try to optimize your site content for every keyword that you can think of.
Worse, your bounce rate will be high because search engine users who find your site eventually leave the site without doing anything.
…. In fact, optimizing your site content for the correct keywords can cause you to drop in search engine rankings.
SEO Mistake #2 – Too many keywords in the meta keyword tag
Sites often have hundreds of keywords in their meta keywords tag in hopes that they will be ranked highly for those keywords.
It is impossible to be more truthful. Contrary to popular belief, the meta keywords tag is almost non-existent in search engine positioning. Google doesn’t use keyword meta tags in its rankings.
You will not be able get a high ranking just by listing keywords in your meta keywords tag. There is no correlation between keywords that you put into a Meta tag, and search engine rank. You must naturally include the keywords in the body of the page to get high rankings for those keywords.
SEO Mistake #3 – Repeating the same keyword too often
A common mistake people make is to repeat their target keywords over and over in their pages.
This tactic has been used by many people in the past and continues to be used today. Search engines are aware of this and can penalize sites that use the same keywords repeatedly.
Yes, it is important to repeat keywords multiple times. However, your keywords must be placed in a grammatical way on your pages. It is not a good idea to repeat the keywords incessantly. A keyword should not be repeated more than three times in your Meta Keywords tag.
SEO Mistake #4 – Creating many similar doorway pages
Another common myth is that search engines have different algorithms, so they must create pages for each one. This is a false belief that is good in theory but counterproductive in practice.
This tactic can lead to hundreds of pages that quickly become a nightmare for administrators. Imagine how much time you’ll need to update the pages to keep up with the changes made by search engines to their algorithms.
Even though the pages are intended for different engines, they can end up being very similar. Search engines can often detect similar pages on a site and penalize or ban it from their index.
Google claims that
“…they can be used to lead users to similar pages through user search results. Each result takes the user to the exact same destination. They can also direct users to intermediate pages which aren’t as useful as the destination.
Instead of creating pages for different search engines you can create one page that is optimized for one keyword.
SEO Mistake #5: Using hidden text
Hidden text refers to text that is the same as your page’s background color. If your page’s background is white, and you add white text to it, this is called hidden text. This is known as black-hat SEO.
To get high search engine rankings, many webmasters make sure their pages are keyword rich to increase their chances of being found in search engines. There is a limit on how many keywords you can use to create a page that doesn’t sound strange to human visitors.
Many webmasters use the same background color to add keywords to text. This is done to make sure that human visitors don’t find the text strange, but the page is keyword-rich. This makes it so that search engines can see keywords but human visitors can’t.
This technique is now well-known by search engines, who will penalize or ignore pages that include it. If hidden text is found on any page of a site, search engines may penalize it all.
This is a problem because search engines can penalize sites that do not use hidden text.
Let’s say you have a page with white background and a table with black background. You might also have some white text added to the table. This text will be visible to human visitors. It shouldn’t be considered hidden text. Search engines may interpret this text as hidden text, since they might ignore the fact the background is black.
According to official Google guidance, these words are:
“Hiding links or text in your content to manipulate Google search rankings can be considered deceptive. This is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”
To ensure your site doesn’t get penalized for this error, go through every page of your site.
SEO Mistake #6 – Page Cloaking
Google defines cloaking as:
“Cloaking” refers to the practice or presentation of different URLs or content to search engines and users. Different results may be returned based on user agent. This could lead to your site being removed from the Google index.
Two reasons are the most common for page cloaking:
- To hide their source code from search engine-optimized competitors
- To avoid human visitors being forced to see pages that look good to search engines, but not necessarily to humans,
This is because search engines can’t crawl the same page that users see if a site uses Cloaking. Search engines cannot provide relevant results to users if they are unable to do this. If a search engine finds cloaking on a site, it will likely ban the site from its index forever.
Our advice is to not use cloaking on your site. If you’re already doing cloaking and getting away, you might want to reconsider.
SEO Mistake #7 – Using too much time for search engine positioning
Yes – we lied. Another common error people make in search engine optimization is that they spend too much time working on it.
Search engine placement is the best way to drive traffic to your website. However, you will need to spend some time each day learning about search engines and optimizing your site to the search engines.
Search engine optimization is only a tool to help you reach your goals. Your goal is to increase sales of your products or services. You must also focus on other factors that affect the success or failure of your website, such as the quality and variety of products and services you offer, and the quality and content of your content.
Although you may be ranked highly in search engines, if your products or services aren’t of high quality, high rankings won’t do any good.
Jacob McMillen, a copywriter and marketing blogger, is an inbound marketing consultant.
Sign up for the Search Engine Watch newsletter to get insights into SEO, the search landscape and digital marketing.
Join us on LinkedIn or Twitter to continue the conversation.
These SEO rookie mistakes can hurt your search rankings Search Engine Watch was first to publish this article.